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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
Oh yea, I've painted many wheels. Index/playing card trick works fantastic.


But, it's officially winter. Too cold for paint to cure. I'd have to carry them into my basement, and listen to my pregnant wife hassle me about the house smelling like paint.

Tires are getting mounted during the day tomorrow, and bolted to the car when I get home. Even if we get a warm spell, they're not coming off until at least February or March (probably more like April....).
 

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when I did mine I was outside in the fall sanding the old peeling finish off the face, then inside the garage taking the last of the lead weights residue off, outside to hose them down,

outside on the last 50 degree day to spray paint, and I carried them down into the warm basement to cure.

I could paint down there just need to run a couple fans towards a open door while I am actually painting. ...have I done it? just a little touch up on missed spots of what i have already painted. (so not enough actual spraying to make a big stink anyway).

I could also see if you got a air furnace with a intake down there or a porous floor, how ones better half may get angry.

... spring is coming, ...maybe you will be the head diaper changer thought, and no time to bother with the vanity of painting wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
Restored headlights made a world of difference!! Didn't even replace a bulb. The car is infinitely easier to drive in the dark.


Hakkas are on. I really like the look of these Forester 5 spokes. I wish I'd gone taller with the tires, but there was a considerable price jump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #44 ·
Not much to say, car's being awesome.

Had a headlight burn out, and decided to go for a little upgrade. I bought a set of cheap LED headlight bulbs about a year ago for the fog lights in my Celica, and I was actually very impressed with them. So I bought a set in the H1 variant for this car.

These ones:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B012KF1XDA/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

At $40, it was worth a try. Sure beats the $150-200 for most of the name brand equivalents.


My main concern was beam pattern, I know that if the point from which the light is emitted is in an even slightly different place, it can throw light where you don't want it. So I took a before picture of the pattern against the inside of the garage door to really analyze things (obviously, I put a functional bulb in it for this comparison):


I had a bit of a scare when I put the first one in, as the pattern was awful, but when I pulled it apart to put the halogen back in there, I realized the LED wasn't seated correctly. It took some finagling to get the wire hold down under the electrical wires coming out of the side of the bulb so that everything would seat correctly, but then it was great:


And from down the driveway:



I'm very happy. More light where I want it, nothing where I don't. Cheap, and required zero modification to the housings. Time will tell how they hold up, but they've done well in my Celica so far....
 

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Discussion Starter · #45 ·
Small updates...

Lights are awesome!


I was checking the oil while getting gas on the road last weekend (I am very much in the habit of checking the oil every time I get gas, even though this car hasn't needed a drop of oil between changes), and I noticed that the serpentine belt had completely chewed one rib off itself. Knowing that we were almost 2 hours drive from home, and not likely to pass another parts store that was open (already approaching 6pm on a Sunday), I bought a new Dayco belt and idler pulley from AutoZone.

We made it home without incident, but when I tore into it, I discovered first that there was quite a bit of play in the tensioner itself (not the pulley/bearing). This put the pulley at a bit of an angle, and must have been causing the belt to try to walk off the alternator pulley.

Then I discovered that I've been running a belt that's 10mm too short for about 10k miles. Turns out that the schmuck who pulled the belt 2 years ago at AutoZone (me...oops), grabbed the wrong one off the shelf. Probably at least part of why the tensioner failed.

So, I put an OE tensioner assembly on it.


Another lighting upgrade in the works. I bought this 22" LED bar from AuxBeam when it went on sale. I have a pair of their smaller flood lights on my lawn tractor for winter snowblowing and love them.

I'll probably build a simple mounting bracket like I did for my old Celica to use the license plate hardware, and braced back to the bumper beam under the grill:
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Another small mod



When we first started driving this car, I immediately noticed a difference between it and the '03 it replaced....on the '03, the driver's defrost vent could be flipped from directing air along the driver's window, to straight up to give an extra blast to the windshield right in front of the driver. On the '04, this vent is not adjustable.

To the parts catalogs at work, sure enough, 4 different part numbers for that vent. 2 different suffixes for gray (ML) and tan (DG) interior, and one version for '00-'03 (66115AE120), and another for '04 (66115AE18A). Ordered up the tan one for the '00-'03 (MSRP is $26.53), and popped it in. Excellent!

 

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Discussion Starter · #47 ·
Not really an update. I had the garage doors open the other day, so I took this. Yea, we're an H6 household



We also got this little gift last Monday, and brought her home in our Outback on Wednesday. Meet Cassandra:
 
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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
No major updates on the car, pretty much just driving it.

Can't edit those old posts, most pictures are rehosted here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/albums/72157682957225814


If you've noticed my other posts lately. My rear U-joint seized and wrecked the yoke, so my attempt to replace the joint failed. I managed to grab a decent shaft at UPull, and to prolong the life of the joints in it, I drilled and tapped the caps for grease zerks. Required a carbide-tipped bit, and wrecked my tap, even with Tap Magic cutting oil. But it worked:

2018-01-30_10-11-44 by Numbchux, on Flickr


Had some intermittent starter issues, so I bought some new solenoid contacts on Amazon, and rebuilt it:

20180213_185930 by Numbchux, on Flickr

It started acting up again shortly after, and I opened it up to find the contacts not perfectly flat, and only contacting on the very end. Loosened the nut, and adjusted it, tightened again, and it's working great again.



We're driving it to visit my in-laws in South Carolina in about a week, stopping by a friend's house in St. Louis en route. So I've been going over it with a fine-tooth comb. Rear pads, cleaned and lubed all the slides (I had one seized slide pin on each caliper. It's clear that whoever was in there last used crappy grease instead of high temp brake lube, as it was all baked completely dry and sticky). Put some new 215/65r16 H-rated General Altimax RT43 Ultra Touring tires on some Impreza split-fives. I've had a 225/60r16 in the stock spare tire well, I'm hoping I can put one of my 215/65r16 snow tires in there for the trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #49 ·
Small update...

We got some sloppy spring snow yesterday, and I had to drive around in it. I'm impressed with the General RT43s in it. No, I'm not ready to sell my Hakkas, but it makes me feel better about putting them in storage already.


Also, to whom it may concern, with some work with a hammer, it is possible to get a fully inflated 215/65r16 (a Nokian Hakkapeliita R2 with about 10/32" tread on a 16x6.5" +48 Forester wheel to be exact) tire in the spare tire well. I had to crank it down with the hold down to get the cover to close half decently, but it fit. Also, FYI, the metal back there is very thin, and it is possible to tear it with a 3lb mini-maul. I had to use some seam sealer to seal things back up.
 

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hey look at that photosuckit doing its happy extortion thing ,...vs. every other FREE photo host site.

glad you moved to Flickr.
 

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Discussion Starter · #51 ·
Yep, pretty awesome. I've spent hours updating picture links on build thread on most other sites, but not allowed around here...sorry



Did a couple other little mods before we hit the road tomorrow. Added some 5% tint to the rear door windows for the comfort of our daughter back there. Looks a little odd without the rear quarter windows tinted, I'll probably do those later, but not this round.

Cut the wire that tells the TCU that the cruise is on. It will still downshift based on throttle position, but it won't jump for 3rd gear the instant you touch the accel button. It was super easy, find the wire in the cruise control diagram that T's off to the indicator light. Find that pin on the TCU, and cut it. Here it is on the VDC cars

2018-03-29_11-45-31 by Numbchux, on Flickr

While I was under there, I modded the keyless entry to unlock all 4 doors on the first button push.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Made the biggest road trip I've ever done last week. Put about 3600 miles on the car in the last week and a half or so. Down to visit the In-laws in South Carolina. Full trip report here


A couple interesting things. I've had the OBX header set on it for about 1.5 years. I didn't love that it has a flex section on each side where there wasn't one in the factory setup. But it seemed to work OK. Well, I think it bit me. Either the flex pipe tore, which allowed even more movement and caused the rear pipe to break, or the rear pipe was going to break anyway, and that extra flexibility tore the flex section. Either way, I had compounding exhaust leaks.

It's interesting, when the headers were new, they had a nice tight mesh flex section:
20160623_173614 by Numbchux, on Flickr

But after a couple winters, the mesh has swollen and deformed. I'm not surprised it failed.

2018-04-04_08-39-00 by Numbchux, on Flickr

I'm planning to cut out the flex, and having a solid piece of stainless welded in. At least on one side, that would return the rigidity to the system, and still allow the flexibility to ease install.

Still haven't decided what to do about the rear pipe. It's all a bit questionable. Probably not worth welding to the old pipe. I'll probably get an aftermarket replacement section, but then I start looking at the flange for the muffler.....ugh. I also don't like the sound of the car since the headers, so it might be a good opportunity to change it up completely.



I had the P0171 come back again (I'll update that thread with more info), and managed to save the freeze frame data associated with it. Interestingly, it happened at idle.




Oh yea, and they're forecasting 8-12" of snow this weekend. Maybe I need to get the Hakkas back out of storage.
 

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I'm planning to cut out the flex, and having a solid piece of stainless welded in. At least on one side, that would return the rigidity to the system, and still allow the flexibility to ease install.
I think removing the flexpipe will create more issues and at the very least will not solve your problem.

Your issue is that the exhaust is not being supported in enough locations. It should be bolted to the mount located directly behind the transmission. Without this you put all the load on the engine and the rear mount.

You could use some after market exhaust hanger to connect to that mount point or you could have something welded on to connect. This will provide the much needed support in the center of your exhaust.

See mount point circled in red in picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
That picture was taken as soon as I installed it, and is the only picture I have that shows the flexes on the headers when they were new.

A day or 2 after it was taken, I made and installed this:
20160625_095144 by Numbchux, on Flickr


It can still pivot around that mount, though. With my current repair sagging behind it so badly, it's noticeably pushing the flex pipes up and deforming them (not pictured). The factory pipe is solid, and would help support it a bit better.

Of course, it's possible that if the factory pipe had been able to flex, I wouldn't have had to replace it. This is why I have OBX headers:

20160623_165837 by Numbchux, on Flickr
 

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With that mount in place I think it would be fine to remove the flex plates. The factory ypipe is solid because it is mounted at the engine and the trans which is solid. It is not designed to flex. Since you have added a mount you can now mimic that design.

I assume you have the OE style donut gasket and spring bolts connecting the header to the rear part of the exhaust?
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 ·
With that mount in place I think it would be fine to remove the flex plates. The factory ypipe is solid because it is mounted at the engine and the trans which is solid. It is not designed to flex. Since you have added a mount you can now mimic that design.

I assume you have the OE style donut gasket and spring bolts connecting the header to the rear part of the exhaust?
Yep, genuine Subaru gasket and hardware, installed when the headers were replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
I'm using a sensor spacer. I do occasionally get a P0420, but not often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #59 ·
Started the exhaust repair this weekend.

I bought a Walker pre-bent intermediate pipe on eBay about a week ago. The improve longevity, I painted it with POR15 high-temp paint (I had some from painting the headers on my 4.3Runner). Got a repair flange from Napa to reinforce the flange for the muffler pipe, and a new OE flange gasket (donut gasket is still in good shape).

It was a bit too short, so required some wrestling to get things to bolt up tight. Interestingly, the OE pipe is larger diameter than the flanges, it necks down pretty significantly to go through the flange (which defeats the purpose of the larger pipe...). This meant the repair flange needed a fair bit of modification to fit correctly. But I got it done.

20180427_212858 by Numbchux, on Flickr

For the record, I left the jack under the diff, supporting a bit of the weight, but the car is primarily supported by jack stands.

20180427_212933 by Numbchux, on Flickr

Pipe diameter change:
20180429_120741 by Numbchux, on Flickr

Now to cut out that torn flex section.


Took a picture of it with my new beater '00
20180428_113013 by Numbchux, on Flickr
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Teaser post before we take it for a trip. Next weekend we're planning to drive about 700 miles, probably about 75 of which off-pavement. I rebooted/regreased the RF Inner axle joint. I put new Ujoints in the driveshaft. Full-size snow tire under the floor in the back as a spare, might put a second on the roof. Duralast Gold front rotors and Duralast GT front pads.

One of the other guys coming on the trip has a '95 Impreza that's out of commission right now (EJ22t/205 hybrid tested with some raw iron in the oil, found the valve lash too tight and wearing on the cam a bit). He loaned me his old Primitive skidplate to see if it would fit. Sure enough....

20180827_214432 by Numbchux, on Flickr

I used a piece of square tube to space the front down from the radiator support to keep it off the oil pan. The exhaust is very close, and rattles on it when the drivetrain flexes, so I'm going to replace it with a larger piece tonight.
 
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